Well, well, well, look what I've found!!
After weeks of asking and several Freedom Of Information requests, I've finally unearthed the "assessment" the DWP did into Time Limiting ESA!! Clearly I use the word assessment in much the way ATOS do. In other words, pick a policy and then write some stuff that proves what you want to say. http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/esa-time-limit-wr2011-ia.pdf
Just in case, in the very unlikely event that you are not an uber-geek like me and you can't stay awake long enough to plough through 16 pages of fairy stories, here's a quick summary :
-It overwhelmingly affects the poorest most. The % impact falls from the highest in the 1st decile of earnings to the lowest in the 10th.
-It estimates that 60% will simply switch to income based ESA and not be affected. This is absolutely ridiculous, pie-in the sky rubbish. I have absolutely no idea how they can make this claim.
- The report concludes that over the term of the parliament 90% of those placed into the Work Related Activity Group (WRAG) will be affected.
-ALL groups will lose income on average through this measure.
-It is based on an assumption that 50% of claims will be appealed!!! How are they able to go forward with a system this inaccurate?
-The report itself claims that 700,000 will be affected by the Time Limit - a figure previously hotly debated, ranging from 400,000 to 1 million. It is expected to cut benefits for those not fully fit for work by 1.2 billion per year.
- The report acknowledges, just as I've been warning, that this is a disincentive to work and may push couples into divorce or into giving up on work altogether. However, they admit that they have no idea how significant this will be.
Possibly the most astonishing part is the claim that the Social Impacts did not need to be investigated, neither under the categories of Health and Well-being, Human Rights or the Justice System. (It does go on to say that an equalities assessment was carried out, which I will do my best to unearth)
As far as I can tell, the research is deeply flawed, based on inaccurate assumptions, incomplete and surely, illegal. If you discount the assumption that 60% will simply move to income based ESA, which I believe is just not true, it is a damning look into what passes for parliamentary research in our so called democracy.